Dispute Settlement and Non-Disparaging Agreement
Knowing the move-out inspection (and subsequent charges for damages) causes conflict, we learned to address these disputes before they occur. We tried a Non-Disparaging Agreement and got a lot of pushback from tenants. Some felt it was their right to say bad things about a service provider (a property manager) if they don’t like their level of customer service and many stonewalled signing it at move in. It wasn’t until we revised it several times that we came up with a document they would sign without hesitation and would prevent them from destroying our reputation on the internet over move-out damages or slow maintenance responses while they lived in the property. This document alone moved our Better Business Score from a C- to an A+ once we implemented it in 2005. We have many past tenants that moved in before 2005 that still say nasty things about us and we still fight the online reputation battle but it’s almost over with this document in place. Get it signed at move in AND at lease renewal time and watch your public reputation improve.
Protect Yourself From Tenants
The longer you’re in property management the more you realize that it’s sticky, often hostile, and sometimes even litigious. Over 35 years we’ve been burned many times by tenants and after the second or third time (we’re slow learners), we go back to the attorney and have them draft a document that prevents it from ever happening again. Blaming the property manager has reached an all-time high and isn’t going away anytime soon. So, understanding this reality, smart managers need to spend extra time, money and effort building and crafting documents designed to protect themselves, even from those they are trying to serve. We’ve pulled these documents from our archives and have listed them here for your review and individual download (or in packages by topic). We’ve laid them out in the Property Management Life Cycle categories to give the discussion some order.
Protecting yourself from tenants is what these documents are all about.